Ditch the Pro for an Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppleGoat, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    In the interest of convenience and fewer selling headaches, I figured I'd post my question in the MBP section of the forum; undoubtedly, the Air folk would do their best to proselytize me to a rarefied computing experience.

    In March, not long after the MBP line went to Sandy Bridge, I purchased the computer on which I'm typing this post, 2.3 i5. As some of you may know, I'm looking into outfitting my rig with a 128 SSD (most likely Crucial M4).

    Up until a few minutes ago, I hadn't really looked at the prices of the latest Air-lineup. I was quite surprised that the base 13-inch model, only $100 more than the 13-inch, comes with 128GB of flash storage (sufficient for my needs). The wheels have begun to turn in my head. Given my computer is less than a half year old, why not sell it for 900-1000$ then put the SSD money towards the difference.

    Since the last Air iteration, one grievance I've had with Apple is that they have opted to make the Air line more professional than the "Pro" line. Brighter & higher-resolution screen, flash storage, etc. It continues with this iteration. Plus, I'd get Lion.

    However, two things are precluding me from proceeding:

    A) My MacBook Pro (while still relatively new) has a few exterior scratches and screen smudges which may hurt its resale value.

    B) You're stuck with only 4GB of RAM on the Air. While 4 gigs is the standard right now, as I intend to keep the computer for many years, it won't be long before 8 gigs is obligatory.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!
  2. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    If you don't need the dedicated GPU - if it's a 15" model - or the faster-clocked CPU, then get the Air!
    The current line-up is an amazing machine!
  3. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    I have the 13-inch MBP i5. It's that time of the year where Apple doesn't care if the 13-inch "Pro" model fails to differentiate itself, performance-wise, from its ultra-portable counterpart. My chief concern with the 13-inch Air is that I will, in fewer than 2 years, yearn for more RAM. Conversely, according to Everymac.com, OWC confirms that my '11 MBP 13 is upgradeable to 16 GB, which should hold me over for quite sometime. I do a lot of Photoshopping so memory is key. Does the Air's patented flash storage keep at bay memory cravings? The extra pixels on the Air would be nice with the design stuff.
  4. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina

    The Screen Resolutions are the same. And the brightness is exactly the same. Flash storage has been an option on the MBP for a while.

    What you lose in the transition: Quad Core to Dual Core...slower CPU. Less Ram...8mb to 4mb.

    What you gain is a smaller lighter footprint. If that is important to you, and you don't want an iPad then I'd say go ahead. For me the iPad is the way to go for portable small footprint to read/write email, skim the web and other basic tasks.
  5. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    There's a misunderstanding here. I have the MacBook Pro 13-inch i5 2.3ghz.
  6. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    128g would never be enough for me. Hell, my iTunes library is about 250g (although I do have that on a separate hard drive). But even without my iTunes library, I'm using a good 350g on a 500g hard drive.
  7. TheBoors macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    The macbook air is an amazing machine, but I think that you wouldn't gain much by going ''air''.. Juste get more ram and your pro and a SSD. You'll have a better computer. Also, you could get yourself a good monitor and have an even better resolution.
  8. tim100 macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
    i was in the apple store last night and the 13 macbook pro seemed to be getting the most foot traffic and I saw a few purchase the mbp.
  9. after5cst macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    If 8GB is required for your future, the Air is out... unless you plan on replacing it. That $200 upgrade now will 'require' a complete machine replacement sooner for an Air than for a Pro.

    I also agree that 8GB is a requirement for a long-lasting system. And that was the deciding factor for me purchasing a Macbook Pro 13" over the Macbook Air.
  10. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    Aha...you've got my goat. <G>

    Okay...all things being what they are I wouldn't trade to a Air - you are only getting a reduction in the footprint and nothing else.

    Curious question - why do you want a solid state drive? What is it you are after?
  11. dsio macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    The 13 air's SSD is less than half the speed of current SATA 3 SSDs, the screen may be higher res, but dramatically lower quality colour representation, and you're stuck with 4GB RAM and a lack of storage, I've got 900GB of crap that I need at present so it isn't an option but if you can fit it, and don't mind the cramped RAM, slow (for an SSD in 2011) cramped hard drive, lesser colour quality and lack of gigabit ethernet its a definite option.
  12. mtntrance macrumors member

    May 2, 2008
    Palm Desert, CA
    screen color on MBA

    The one thing I do not like about my new MBA 13 is the screen color during the day. It ha a pink tint. Since portability is not an issue for me as I have an iPad I am seriouskly thinking about spending 300 more for the MBP 15 hi res.
  13. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Advantages of the MBP:

    1. Faster processor with real world work.
    2. Upgradable RAM--all the way to 16 GB (albeit at a price!).
    3. Upgradable hard drive.
    4. Optical drive--whether you use it as an optical drive or use an Optibay (and don't mind voiding the warranty).
    5. Better color accuracy, albeit with slightly lower resolution.

    Advantages of the Air:

    1. SSD as standard.
    2. Higher resolution screen, albeit with less color accuracy.
    3. Lighter.

    If you actually work on your laptop, the MBP is substantially more capable. If you want to be seen with your laptop, the Air is a possibility.
  14. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    Seems like you only want the Air because of SSD and higher screen resolution. I think that shouldn't be your primary reasons. The Air is mainly for portability, and unless you travel 90% of the time for work, I'd suggest you stick with the MBP and just upgrade to a SATA III SSD, which is about $200 nowadays. Given that you use PS alot, 8gb and faster CPU speed is a big plus. And in the end, the 13" MBP is pretty portable don't you think?
  15. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    Keep the Pro ... you would be wasting money to ditch it for the Air
  16. Fugue macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2011
    I posted almost the same thread a week or two ago, but in the final analysis, I decided to keep my 13" 2.3Ghz Pro. My reasons were as follows:

    1. The Pro has a better screen. While the Air has a higher resolution, it appears washed out and almost hazy compared to the Pro
    2. I dislike the teardrop design of the Air. If only the Pro kept it's size whilst weighing in as much as the Air
    3. Upgradable RAM on the Pro
    4. Optical Drive (which I never use, but will probably once in a while)
    5. The Pro is still faster, especially while not using TurboBoost
    6. Slightly better battery life on the Pro
    7. The SSD you buy for the Pro has the potential to be almost twice as fast as the Air's (granted you buy a SAT III SSD)

    At the moment, I'm also looking at the Crucial m4, as well as the Samsung 470. Once installed, the Macbook Pro will quite literally smoke the Air.
  17. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    If you're at all a heavy Photoshop user, or of other image or video editing software, keeping the mbp is the only path, IMO. 4GB is fine for casual use, and some discrete professional tasks, but increasing the number of discrete apps needed, or the data sizes involved (higher and higher resolution images, buffers used for editing of video clips, databases, etc) will all benefit from more RAM, while also generally benefitting from more powerful CPUs.

    Not having discrete graphics is a failure, but one that you have for both the 13" MBP or the Air, so irrelevant. Air gives slightly higher resolution.

    If it's about cost, your number of $1k is probably reasonable/in the ballpark (maybe slightly high), and the base 13" Air is $1299. for the price differecne you'd be eating, you can buy a 128GB SSD for ~$200, and another 4GB of RaM for $40 on sale at newegg currently (kills me, I paid $65 or so not long ago, but at least it's not like what I paid on 6GB for my SR chipset MB :D ). You'd be saving $, and can put the $ towards an optibay mount if desired for your current HD, or spend a bit more and go with a 256GB SSD if you need/want it.

    Net 'gains' - faster SSD and 8GB RAM for a lower effective price vs selling the MBP and going for an Air. Can go higher on RAM or storage in the future when RAM prices drop for 8GB modules.
    Net loss - slight screen res, weight/form factor difference.

    I like the Air personally, but I think of it as a secondary device, like an iPad with a keyboard instead of touch - fine for occasional or light use, but I can't use it as a desktop replacement or for normal work personally. Someone else may be able to, though.
  18. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks all for the informative responses. Seeing how my i5 2.3 becomes bogged down by large files in Photoshop, I wouldn't want to be limited to 4 gigs for my computer's life. From what I've read, the latest Air is being touted as a fairly competent little bugger when it comes to professional tasks. Of course, Apple overlooks (or not) one area that keeps the Air from reaching those lofty heights.
  19. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    I own the 2010 MBA and I just left the apple store comparing my machine to the 2011 MBA and then the 2011 MBP.

    You can not compare the quality and color of the MBA vs the MBP. I can not do any serious picture editing on my Air, you can not trust the colors. My next upgrade in a year or 2 will seriously consider the Pro.

    Do not trade your machine for an MBA if you are doing any photo work.

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